Roman Protasevich, Belorussian national arrested in Minks, was a sniper of the Ukrainian Azov nationalist battalion and opened fire on civilians, said LPR People's Militia press service officer Ivan Filiponenko.
"Protasevich maintains that he committed no crime against civilians as he was a front-line reporter in the Ukrainian army. Our sources in the Sever operative-tactical group say that he was a sniper and often practices his skills firing at civilians, medical workers and emergency teams, who arrived to help civilians," Filiponenko said.
Besides, Protasevich was one of those who organized the transfer of persons willing to participate in the military action to Donbass.
"The cost of the transfer from Minck to the JFO was 5,000 USD including accommodation for seven days, food and three visits to the line of defense with firing unlimited number of rounds of various firearms," People's Militia press officer said.
LPR prosecutors are conducting investigative actions over the fact of Protasevich’s participation in terrorist organisations. The probe is part of the criminal proceedings against him. The prosecutors said that they were ready to provide legal assistance to Belarussian law-enforcement bodies in investigating the suspect's crimes and requested Belarus to let them carry out investigative actions with Protasevich in the LPR territory.
Protasevich founded the Nexta Telegram channel which was recognized as extremist in Belarus. He was detained at the Minsk Airport together with his girlfriend Sofia Sapega during document check on May 23. Criminal proceedings against Protasevich were opened on several counts including the organisation of riots. Earlier, Protasevich alleged that that he had been in Donbass at the height of fighting in 2014-2015 in the capacity of journalist. However, Protasevich’s photos showed him in military uniform with a weapon in hands together with gunmen of Ukraine’s nationalistic battalion Azov. *t*s